Building the Curvey Basin chairlift is progressing at the
Remarkables ski area. The multimillion-dollar, high-speed,
six-seater chairlift, capable of carrying up to 2400
passengers an hour, is expected to be commissioned early in
June. Photo supplied.
It has taken a 6WD crane, more than 95cu m of concrete
and an eight-strong team from an internationally-renowned cable
transport company to pull off what has been described as a
''major engineering feat'' at a Queenstown ski area.
The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said the
multimillion-dollar, high-speed Curvey Basin chairlift was
Once completed, it would carry a total of 63 six-seater
chairs, carrying up to 2400 passengers up the hill each hour.
The chairlift was part of a ''substantial'' investment in the
ski area, including road realignment, sealing of the lower
access road, trail developments, expansion of the snow-making
system and extended car parking.
Mr Lawrence said a team from Leitner-Poma had been working
with staff for the past three months to complete the project
and he was ''hugely excited'' with progress to date, given
the complexities of installing a chairlift.
''Before the towers were erected, we had a programme of
digging foundations at each tower site, putting boxing in
place and building a reinforcing rod steel cage inside the
boxing, before pouring and curing concrete,'' Mr Lawrence
A 6WD crane, weighing 40 tonnes, was being used to install
the top towers and terminal, lifting each of the towers into
place before they were fixed to the foundations.
Foundations at each end of the 1.2km chairlift required 95cu
m of concrete, while each tower foundation had 12cu m.
''The weight-bearing load of each tower differs, depending on
the angle of the cable, which itself weighs 19 tonnes, so
all-in-all it's a massive project. The tallest tower is 16m
above the ground.
''We're stoked with progress, especially as the weather
varies from week to week, but we're working to the plan set
''Getting the towers up is a huge milestone for us and it's
all really exciting. You can start to get a really good idea
of what the lift and trails will look like in the middle of
A new trail map had also been created for The Remarkables
showing the line of the new lift and runs to be accessed.
Curvey Basin lift will open up another 10.1ha of formed
With increased off-piste opportunities it will increase the
ski area's capacity by 40%.
All the towers are due to be installed by early next month
and the cable will be hauled along the assemblies soon after
Another group of staff will then run electrical services to
the lift before it is commissioned early in June.